Skip Navigation Links
  Designers: Leslie Travers - Reviews

La Clemenza di Tito‚ Opera Theatre St Louis
Broadway World (June 2017)

'The set and costumes by Leslie Travers are visually stunning! Simple‚ spare. In the dim opening light a colossal . . . something . . . hovers over the entire stage. As light slowly grows we recognize it as a vast steely Roman eagle‚ wings spread‚ talons gripping on the left a bundle of spears‚ on the right an Olive Branch. Titus muses on these from time to time in his struggle to choose between punishment and mercy.'

La Clemenza di Tito‚ Opera Theatre St Louis
Jay Harvey Upstage (June 2017)

'Leslie Travers’ set design is dominated by a huge‚ fierce eagle‚ constructed in several parts and raised and lowered on wires to suit the action‚ about which more later…The stage pictures were striking and apt. That magnificent eagle‚ merely glimpsed at first in partial lighting of legs and talons that made them seem abstract‚ suddenly becomes concretely visible with the initial entrance of Titus and the chorus accompanying it.'

La Clemenza di Tito‚ Opera Theatre St Louis
Opera Today (June 2017)

'Leslie Travers has provided a handsome set design that suggests ancient Rome‚ counter-balanced with a luxurious costume design that is more rooted in the time of the opera’s composition.'

La Clemenza di Tito‚ Opera Theatre St Louis
St Louis Post Dispatch (June 2017)

'Set and costume designer Leslie Travers kept things in black and white‚ with handsome costumes; a giant American eagle‚ its head facing the olive branch in its right talons‚ rose and fell as required‚ for a simple but effective design.'

The Marriage of Figaro‚ Opera Philadelphia
DC Metro Theater Arts (May 2017)

'Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) is such a perfect amalgam of comedy and pathos that audiences will cheer even a flawed performance of it. It’s hard to get everything right‚ with ten complicated characters‚ an orchestra‚ and sets representing multiple rooms and gardens of a nobleman’s palace. That’s why it was such a rare treat to see the all-around excellence of this new production which has sets and costumes by Leslie Travers and direction by Stephen Lawless...
Massive sets portrayed the ornate exterior of a grand palazzo and its lavish rooms‚ and ingeniously revealed the corridors which connect them. Much of the action involved people skulking down those corridors and listening-in at doors. '

The Marriage of Figaro‚ Opera Philadelphia
Huffington Post (May 2017)

'Leslie Travers imposing moveable set design is a study of contrasts- marble walls and stately interior that eventually gives way to garish bas-relief exteriors and a grotesque stone garden. Meanwhile‚ Travers’ costumes look like Versailles couture of the first order‚ Burnish organza breeches‚ sequin studded court coats and The Countess’ boudoir lingerie‚ gauzy summer hoop dresses and ballroom gowns. They couldn’t have been more finely detailed if they were built by Adrian on the MGM lot.'

The Marriage of Figaro‚ Opera Philadelphia
Opera Critic (May 2017)

'With sets and costumes by Leslie Travers‚ he presents an extravagantly ornate palace‚ staffed by servants in crimson livery and powdered wigs. This emphasizes the wealth and power of Count Almaviva more than any other production.

The sets prominently reveal corridors where servants skulk‚ and multiple doors where they peek in at the activities of their rulers. The doors provide many comic opportunities; they also remind me of Stephen Sondheim’s “Opening Doors” which hint at future opportunities.'

The Marriage of Figaro‚ Opera Philadelphia
Philadelphia Magazine (May 2017)

'Visually‚ this Figaro also scores points‚ with beautiful scenery‚ lighting‚ and costumes (it keeps the period setting‚ which is my preference—the historical details work best that way). I particularly liked the opening image‚ a stone wall with sculpted portraits presumably of older members of the House of Almaviva—gray eminences‚ indeed.

The Marriage of Figaro‚ Opera Philadelphia (May 2017)

'The first thing you see at the Academy of Music’s new co-production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s MARRIAGE OF FIGARO (with Lyric Opera of Kansas City‚ San Diego Opera‚ and Pam Beach Opera) is a large set with cameo likenesses of Count and Countess Almaviva on a family tree along a palatial garden wall. Leslie Travers’ set is not only striking visually‚ but the wall transforms and move throughout the production‚ revealing closets to hide in‚ windows to jump out of‚ and a portico from which the audience can see who is at the door while the characters debate whether or not to open it. '

The Marriage of Figaro‚ Opera Philadelphia
Seen and Heard International (May 2017)

'One advantage of Lawless’s current revisit is the possession of superbly attractive sets and costumes by Leslie Travers'

Twelfth Night‚ Royal Exchange Theatre
British Theatre Guide (April 2017)

'Jo Davies’s production places the action‚ in Leslie Travers’s design‚ on a sand-sprinkled stage‚ which has obvious relevance for the opening when Viola is washed up on the shore after the shipwreck but also produces a brilliant visual effect of a winding path where Malvolio discovers the letter that leads to his downfall just before the interval.'

Twelfth Night‚ Royal Exchange Theatre
The Times (April 2017)

'Faith Omole’s shipwrecked Viola is flung‚ distraught and disorientated‚ on to the sand spit of Leslie Travers’s design‚ with its splintered planking‚ falling rain and turquoise sea. In her orange lifejacket‚ she’s strikingly suggestive of a 21st-century refugee.'

Billy Budd‚ Opera North
The Herald Scotland (December 2016)

'Phelan’s staging‚ on Leslie Travers clever two-level set that is as much decaying building as late 18th century man-o-war‚ brilliantly conveys the pecking order on the quarter-deck as well as the cramped conditions of the men‚ and the superb chorus is kept very busy all night.'

The Marriage of Figaro‚ Opera Philadelphia/Lyric Opera Kansas
Kansas City Star (November 2016)

'Major kudos go to Leslie Travers‚ whose richly detailed‚ character-defining costume designs were sumptuous‚ his regal set design crafty and versatile.'

Billy Budd‚ Opera North
Leeds List (October 2016)

'It’s impressive to behold‚ both realistic and fantastical‚ with curved surfaces sweeping down onto the stage and crooked edges creating ominous shadows. Seriously‚ kudos to Set and Costume Designer‚ Leslie Travers‚ he outdid himself here.'

Don Carlo‚ Grange Park Opera
The Telegraph (June 2016)

'Jo Davies directs resourcefully and sensibly against Leslie Travers’ versatile set‚ in which brutal concrete walls are made to suggest prison‚ palace and plaza in turn. Period kitsch is held at bay: costuming is austerely black‚ with atmosphere created by flickering flame and candles. '

Pleasure‚ Opera North
Classical Source (May 2016)

'The star of the evening‚ apart from Garrett‚ is the production design. Huge‚ squat letters spelling out the title of the opera form the acting and singing space‚ lit in changing colours to reflect the gaudy location and the flames of Hell. The horizontals gave Garrett shelves for toilet rolls and hand cleaner‚ the curves of the letters winding around a urinal and a basin – industrial‚ functional and startling.'

Pleasure‚ Opera North
MusichOMH (May 2016)

'Leslie Travers’ set is highly atmospheric‚ with glistening stringed curtains surrounding the stage‚ and huge letters standing in the centre that spell out ‘pleasure’ as they light up.'

Rebecca‚ Kneehigh
The Guardian (November 2015)

'The real star of the show is Leslie Travers’ design‚ offering a space where house and beach meet and where past‚ present and future coil around each other like the smoke that eventually engulfs the house. Rice uses the space brilliantly‚ offering an image of Rebecca like a drowned mermaid‚ and turning Manderley into a rocky obstacle course and a place where the louche and the elegant‚ popular culture and snobbery‚ freedom and imprisonment‚ all co-exist.'

I Puritani‚ Welsh National Opera
The Arts Desk (September 2015)

'The most striking moment of the production‚ and by far its most memorable passage‚ is Arturo’s first official entrance as a Cavalier aristocrat (the scruffiness is part of the usual preludial dumb-crambo)‚ and Elvira’s switch from blue twin set‚ vintage 1970‚ to a flowing dress of the civil war time. Here something subtle and intriguing takes place. The flowing dress has already appeared while the twin set was onstage and singing; but soon the flowing dress is singing while the twin set looks on. Double casting? No‚ but a doppelganger‚ cunningly staged and designed (by Leslie Travers).'

I Puritani‚ Welsh National Opera
What’s On Stage (September 2015)

'…Elvira‚ much earlier in proceedings than Bellini or Pepoli envisaged‚ is prone to psychotic episodes. And she’s stopped taking her tablets‚ so by the time designer Leslie Travers unleashes his brilliantly simple coup de théâtre she’s in a bit of a state.'

Salome‚ Santa Fe Opera
The New York Times (August 2015)

' Set in the early 20th century‚ the production is a headily‚ effectively Freudian take on the piece. Several scenes suggest spaces in the mind‚ like Jochanaan’s cistern‚ here a creepily arid‚ crumbling attic where he sits at a table‚ scribbling. …
Here was opera with vividness equal to the stunning landscape surrounding it.'

Rebecca‚ Kneehigh
The Telegraph (May 2015)

'Leslie Travers’s extraordinary set expresses a world where nothing is quite what it seems. Like something out of a Salvador Dalí painting‚ the ruins of a stately home (huge chandelier‚ peeling plasterwork‚ a grand broken staircase) merge into a sweep of rocks and the upside-down hull of a wrecked boat.'

The Marriage of Figaro‚ Opera North
The Telegraph (January 2015)

'Jo Davies’s interpretation‚ cunningly designed by Leslie Travers‚ has no ideological axe to grind in moving the drama to an early twentieth-century setting...
The net result is a Figaro of exceptional ensemble‚ rich in charm‚ humour and vitality: beautifully sung‚ sensitively staged. For pure enjoyment‚ what more can opera offer?'